China Cracks Down On Gaming
China’s gaming industry is under pressure yet again as regulators look to clamp down on ‘controversial’ content perceived to be damaging to young users. Batten down the hatches, Tencent, they’re coming for you…again!
After last year’s freeze on gaming approvals, which slowed production considerably and wiped $20bn off Tencent’s market value, the Chinese Communist Party is looking to issue new gaming guidelines that may slow production further and water down content. Serious bummer.
China’s education ministry was the source of the push for greater regulation as they argued that much of today’s controversial content stunts youth development. So far, gaming approvals have come in at 800 in Q1 this year, down from a whopping 2,000 in the same period last year. Ouch.
Games portraying characters with special powers, online gambling and violent themes seem to be at the top of the regulator’s list. Both gaming companies and investors are concerned that the regulator’s propensity to change direction at a moment’s notice could dampen sentiment and growth significantly in the industry. It’s like the Wild West out there!
Let’s hope China’s budding gaming market can find a way to operate within these new parameters before it loses out to the US market completely.